International aerospace company Airbus and Farsoon Technologies, a Chinese manufacturer of SLM and SLS 3D printers, have partnered to develop polymer additive manufacturing materials for civil aviation.
This collaboration marks the Airbus’s first joint research and development venture in this field with a Chinese company. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to produce high-performance polymer materials, which can be used to make aerospace-grade parts on Farsoon’s additive manufacturing systems.
“Airbus is looking for more than the performance of new material,” said Michel Tran Van, General Manager of Airbus Beijing.“We need to keep in mind what industrializing AM needs, including workflows development, cost management, industrial manufacturing capabilities, and speed.”
“With the same goal of industrialization, I look forward to the R&D results of this collaboration, and I believe we will carry out more cooperation in the future.”
Open for industry technology
Designed with an “Open for Industry” philosophy, Farsoon’s industrial 3D printing systems enable complete user freedom of operation. All parameter settings in the company’s machinery are accessible, allowing the use of any material source. As such, Farsoon is actively collaborating with material manufacturers to develop the “next generation of laser sintering materials.”
Last year, the company entered into a collaboration with Swiss listed technology group Oerlikon to supply metal powder for Farsoon 3D printers in China. Following this, Farsoon expanded into Europe with a new subsidiary based in Germany. This facility is led by Dirk Simon, who currently serves as business director for BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, the additive manufacturing arm of German chemical company BASF.
Now, Farsoon will refine and optimize processing parameters for the new material developed from its work with Airbus, on its open platform systems, i.e, the HT1001P Continuous Additive Manufacturing Solution (CAMS). In addition, Airbus will validate the properties and performance of these materials according to the needs of civil aviation requirements.
Farsoon’s range of 3D printers. Image via Farsoon Technologies.
Continuous Additive Manufacturing Solutions
The HT1001P CAMS is equipped with closed loop powder management, and a large build volume of 1000 x 5000 x 450 mm. Jabil, a U.S-based manufacturing company, is currently testing the capabilities of this system within Farsoon’s evaluation program. Dr. Xu Xiaoshu, founder and chairman of Farsoon Technologies stated:
“We are very excited to start this R&D collaboration with Airbus. As a leading industrial AM solution provider, Farsoon has been pushing towards the transition of AM applications from prototyping to manufacturing.”
“We believe AM technology will be increasingly used in aerospace & aviation manufacturing. In the future, by joining hands with Airbus, Farsoon will be able to contribute to the full workflow for AM production in civil aviation.”
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Featured image shows Dr. Xu Xiaoshu, Founder and Chairman of Farsoon (front, left) and Michel Tran Van, General Manager of Airbus Beijing (front, right) with colleagues as R&D agreement is signed. Photo via Farsoon Technologies.